Cheap Recipe: Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

13 May

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Mexican stuffed peppers.
An ethnic variation on a classic oven-baked dish.

A sale on stoplight-packaged bell peppers last week was timed perfectly with some leftover rice I had sitting in the refrigerator. On a whim, this version of an old standby (usually prepared with Italian seasonings and ingredients at my house) was born.

You can whip up a small amount of chili sauce for this recipe (like I did), use thawed leftover chili (this batch variation freezes quite nicely), or even substitute a can or two of Hormel in its place. My version is vegetarian, but obviously you can use ground beef or shredded chicken in the chili or even in the rice mixture if you like.stoplight bell peppers

My new Pfaltzgraff dish

Thanks, Pfaltzgraff, for my adorable new casserole dish!

Begin by preheating oven to 400 degrees. Remove stems/caps from and hollow out the insides of 4 bell peppers (green, red, whatever) but try to leave shells intact all the way to the top opening, forming a sort of tall bowl.

 

Meanwhile, mix 1 can of black beans (drained) with 2 regular cans diced tomatoes (undrained) over medium burner heat in a large pot. Stir in 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

tomatoes, beans and spices

Tomatoes, beans and spices.

When mixture is thoroughly warmed, incorporate 1-1/2 to 2 cups leftover cooked rice into the bean mixture. Stir well until heated through.

leftover rice

Leftover rice. (Mine was saffron rice but it really doesn't matter.)

The excess liquid from the tomatoes will prevent the rice from drying. Cover warm mixture and remove from burner heat.

Stand the hollowed peppers upright in a square casserole dish so that each pepper helps to hold the others up. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup shredded cheddar/jack cheese in the bottom of each pepper.

rice & chili mixture

Rice and chili mixture.

Spoon enough rice/bean mixture over the bottom cheese layer until almost level with top openings of peppers.

Cheese in the bottom

Cheese in the bottom.

Smush about 1/4 cup additional shredded cheese over rice mixture, or as much as will fit without spilling over.

Use a small spouted pitcher or cup to pour about 1/2″ water into bottom of casserole dish.

Rice in the middle.

Rice and beans in the middle.

Place uncovered dish in preheated oven; cook 20-25 minutes or until cheese is entirely melted and peppers have begun to soften slightly.

Water in the pan

Cheese on top and water in the pan bottom.

A fork inserted into the outer skin of one of the peppers should indicate doneness.

Serve in small bowls or freeze individually in small, lidded containers.

Microwave frozen leftovers individually on HIGH for about 3 minutes each. These travel well to work for eat-at-your-desk lunches! (Just remember to pack a knife!)

Top with sour cream if you're in the mood...

 

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One Response to “Cheap Recipe: Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers”

  1. redforkhippie May 15, 2010 at 8:14 PM #

    You could up the fiber and lower the carbs by subbing in whole-wheat couscous or bulghur wheat for the rice. Not Red Kitchen-worthy that way, but both ingredients should be available wherever you get your TVP.

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